The Steelband Project was set up in 1997 by Liz Brouckaert and David Wickham. The core focus of the project is to provide quality music education to young people in the Western Cape, with a particular focus on youth in under-resourced communities and ‘youth-at-risk’.
The Project aims to develop the discipline and listening skills required for playing in a band, and to give band members the personal enjoyment and confidence gained from performing in public. The Project is active in many suburban and township schools as well as with street youth and with young people with learning difficulties. There are currently 16 steelbands being taught by the Steelband Project on a weekly basis, with an average size of 15 members.
The Steelband Project also runs a Rural Steelband Programme, whereby disadvantaged youth in rural communities are given access to steelband tuition. Through this programme bands are thriving in the towns of Riebeek Kasteel, Hermon and Malmesbury. The Project has also been instrumental in setting up bands that are now run independently in the towns of Robertson, Hawston and Hermanus and we are busy setting up bands that are now run independently in the West Coast towns of Vredenburg and Clanwilliam.
Originally from Trinidad in the Caribbean and recycled from 44 gallon oil drums, the steelpan is an ideal vehicle for music instruction. Anyone can learn to play the pans, and they can be used in any musical idiom, from classical to jazz and many popular styles.
DAVID WICKHAM BA (HDE)
David is a former English teacher and university lecturer as well as a professional freelance percussionist specializing in African, Caribbean and Brazilian Music. He arranges and composes for our steelbands and co-ordinates the teaching programmes.
After completing her Fine Art and Psychology undergrad in Cape Town, Natalie studied Art Psychotherapy at Sheffield University, UK. Since her return in 1998 she has been working primarily with Vulnerable youth and young adults. Her interest is facilitating Adolescents and Young Adults to find meaningful expressions for their difficulties, challenges, hopes and fears through the use of creativity. Natalie has recently completed the post-graduate diploma in Mindfulness Based Interventions at Stellenbosch University.
Donald La Meyer
Donald has been playing steelpans since 2002, and teaches steelband classes in Riebeek Kasteel, Hermon and Malmesbury. He is also involved in assisting the bands in Vredenburg and Clanwilliam. Donald is also an accomplished dancer, choreographer and singer. He leads the award-winning breakdance crew “The MJ Kings”.
The Project runs a Teacher Training Programme in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Currently, Jovan Heynse, Shane Tomas and Grandwill Grant are in the Programme and assisting Donald and David.
The Project is a Non Profit Organisation and a PBO (Public Benefit Organisation). We operate with a Board of Advisors chaired by, Trinidadian born, Ms Gillian Ballintulo.